Author Archive: Julian

Tess (in Boots)

“Loretta…” Meducia cooed.

Loretta rolled away from the voice, pulling her blankets high. It was too early for her games. Too early to learn more. She had been up half the night with the awful woman’s latest foul potion, stewing away. The addition of two cups of bat pupils near the end had created such a stench that it was a wonder it didn’t still permeate every pore in the wooden hut’s walls.

“Loretta.” Meducia repeated, more firmly.

The one-eyed girl considered her position. On the one hand, if she answered the witch, surely she would get thrown into one task or another. Some mean-spirited and ugly task, designed with the particular intent to scold her for being ‘such a lazy child’. On the other, if she pushed her luck hard enough and long enough, it was just possible she might finally make the sinister old bat snap and kill her. Plus, she’d get more time in bed. It was certainly the more appealing of the two options.

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Compelling Darkness (pt 1)

It was their first day out at sea and there, in the distance, was an island. An island, the Captain Mildred Fairweather was saying to the group of squabbling rogues and outcasts that made up their small mercenary band, that appeared on no chart. It was a great concern, of course. What wonders would await? What treasures could be uncovered? What were the chances of their good smuggler Captain marooning them at the slightest opportunity?

Delphie had stretched all three feet of her lithe little self out along the decks of the forecastle, enjoying the midday sun and the steady wind. She had but to turn her head slightly to look out over the sea to the dot of land off to port, her view only slightly hindered by the gunwale. As the wind tousled her mop of  raven black hair, she breathed a sigh of grattitude that she was no longer shut up in the small room that had been apportioned for them belowdecks. It had smelled of sweat, old straw and dried bile, and they had been packed in so tightly that even the few short hours within had been unbearable. Continue reading →

Something’s Gotta Give

Cracadoom Island wasn’t really the kind of place where one could take it easy. Filled to the brim with smugglers, pirates, mercenaries, cutthroats, cutpurses, and crafty sword merchants (who made a killing off of daggers alone, but who rarely slept easy at night), it was the kind of place where you kept an eye in the back of your head, lest you lose it.

That being said, on that day the sun shone bright on the tropical island, and the ramshackle wharf’s many smokehouses and ale shacks were crowded with lazy nogoodnicks too busy fighting off the mid-day heat to bother fighting one-another. Toothless old crooks sat in the shade and stared out at the sea – forgetting their spiderwebs of puppeted contacts and bootlicking and bribes that had kept them alive so far and remembering instead their glory days out on the blue, the salt in their bones calling them back. Continue reading →

A Battle of Wills: Part III

“PROTECT THE KING!”

The words rang hollowly in his ears, but Lt. Platts felt his body reacting to them. His legs were pumping, his right hand drawing the longsword from its sheath at his side. He had reached the first step of the dais when he felt intense heat behind him and to the right. There were screams of agony, battle cries, the sounds of more steel scraping from scabbards or crashing to the ground, and above all, the great whooshing roar of flames bursting amoungst his men. Continue reading →

A Battle of Wills: Part II

The King was looking decidedly nervous.

The Fifth Wizard was peering up at the man from his ceremonial position on the dais. He could hardly blame the young king. He was only 25, after all, and headstrong. The lad had been trying to assert his independence since he was as tall as his father’s knee, but the old King Delimar had been a man of peace, a diplomat, filled with stoic reserve. The young prince’s rambunctiousness – his disinterest in his studies and his boredom at the day-to-day run of the realm – had been incomprehensible to the steady patriarch. Since his father’s death, the King Steven had always seemed decidedly uncomfortable in his crown, surrounded as he was by his father’s men, each of them acting just as they had in his father’s time. Old cobweb-addled minds, the lot of them. Continue reading →

A Battle of Wills: Part I

There was a gentle rap at the door. Cornelius Noomid looked up from the scroll before him, frowning. He thought he’d kept his shopfront locked this morning. Perhaps he’d forgotten to lock it the night before. With a shrug, he called for whomever was beyond to enter, and be quick about it. The door opened, and a tall, slim young man, adorned in gaudy raiment including a simply preposterous hat proclaiming him a “Wizurd” stepped lightly though, peering about the room slightly disinterestedly.

“Good day, Master. The Princess has arrived.”

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A Swift Departure

The Princess could hardly see for her tears. She was speedily fleeing from the corpse that had been left upon the cold black marble behind her. Her father’s purpled face, his horrifying, pained expression. The hands, grasping at his throat, scratching at the tender skin…

The emperor had died in agony, that was plain. Had died on the very day when his careful planning had been met with triumphant success. The bloodline of the Lunestan Emperors would go on to become the bloodline of Nostan Kings with her marriage to the King Stephan III of Indellium. The isle would finally become a land undivided, a nation that might grow and flourish beyond its borders, and perhaps one day carve out an even greater place within Terra. And all without bloodshed. With the combined powers of the Lunestan and Indellium armies, so long kept trained and vigilant upon the river border, they would be poised to make great military gains in short time with veteran troops and the power of their combined navy. Continue reading →

An Alliance of Targaryen and Stark, Pt I

I think it may finally be time to introduce our second to last player character, our last family house, and one of the most heavily involved plot lines of the entire game.

The Starks returned from their travels in the Dwarven lands a session or two after the Targaryens had come from their trip to the elves. With them came Jesselyn, played by our second female player Ariane, along with her sister Dania, her lordly brother Antonio, and the Dowager Vanessa.

Jesselyn was a wizard, and while her booklearning could bend reality to her will, it unfortunately did little enough to affect her social situation positively. For the first few days of her time back in her home district, there was little enough for her to do, besides converse with her siblings. We met Antonio, the brash, handsome, aloof lord of the Stark estate, who seemed to be only antagonized by his sister, who I believe stole his new dwarven throwing dagger on their first meeting, and hid it. (Much to everyone’s amusement) We also met Dania, and soon collectively raised our eyebrows at her manic mannerisms, and utter devotion to Peter, of house Heldecki. There was something…odd about her. But no-one had quite put their finger on it yet. Continue reading →

She’s Baba Yaga, They Say.

Blood oozed slowly between the fingers of the girl’s right hand and slid down her bare arm, a crimson slash against her skin, tanned nut-brown by the prairie sun. Her breath came in shudders and gasps, but she did not cry out, though tears rolled down the other side of her oval face, co-mingling with the blood that dripped from the tip of her chin.

“Ahhh. I see you’re done. And how did the ritual go, my sweet?” Continue reading →

The Painter of Al’Craz Hall

Some stories are becoming more and more lost to my memory…their details grow vague, while their pitched moments flash brilliantly in my mind.

For one reason or another Zaav Al’Craz commissioned a renowned painter to do a portrait of himself. It became a function of his days to sit for the painter each morning. As time went on, the fiscal opportunities the painter could potentially afford the nobleman began to present themselves. The man’s paintings were cheap now, but there were great mutterings of his brilliance and mastery, and if he were to die while a great number of the artworks were in Zaav’s possession…he could make quite a ‘killing’, as it were.

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